Saturday, February 27, 2010


Bring on the celebrations! During the month of March, not only will I be rejoicing the 40th year of my birth (yes, I said rejoicing), I will also be participating in NEA's Read Across America project.

This signature program, developed by the National Education Association, is building a nation of readers. Now in its thirteenth year, this year-round initiative focuses on motivating children and teens to read through events, partnerships, and reading resources.

NEA's Read Across America Day takes place each year on or near March 2, the birthday of Dr. Seuss. Across the United States, thousands of schools, libraries, and community centers participate by bringing together kids, teens, and books, and you can too!

On March 2, the National Education Association calls for every child to be reading in the company of a caring adult. So grab your favorite kid, your favorite book, and enjoy some quality time together.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


My daughter Mollie ends up getting a lot of press regarding her food allergies and involvement with my book The BugaBees, so for now, I’m here to give equal representation to her 3-year-old brother Max – the baby of the family and the apple of my eye! Max is “all boy” as they say, and worships Lightning McQueen, Thomas the Train and Curious George. He also has never been tested for food allergies and I’m thinking it’s about time I do some investigating.

Our doctor tells us because there are so many false-positive results in clinical testing alone, the best way to do so is to just give him peanuts, tree nuts, etc. If he has any sort of reaction, then a clinical test will confirm the presence of a food allergy. Sure. No problem. Except there are lots of problems I can envision, which is probably why I haven’t done anything about this in the last three years of Max’s life. :)

First, I am hyper-sensitive about bringing any peanut/tree nut products into our home, so I’m not really excited about doing a “food challenge” in our kitchen or anywhere else in our house for that matter.

Secondly, Mollie and Max are almost always together. I’m not really sure why I feel the need to protect her from my little experiment with him, but in this case, I feel like less is more. The less obvious it is that Max will be in the next room consuming foods she’s allergic to, the more comfortable I think she will feel in general. (Because lets face, 3-year-olds are not exactly pristine eaters. My kitchen floor and dinner table can prove it.)

Thirdly, WHAT IF HE HAS A HORRIBLE REACTION?!? Yes, I have multiple Epi-pens on hand but somehow, I can’t get psyched up to create a situation where I might very likely need to use one. Plus, we live a good 20 minutes from the nearest hospital, so it’s not looking like that will be happening anytime soon.

What do other parents do? I’m dying to know. For now I’m thinking I might just have to meet him in the back alley near our health care clinic with a Nutter Butter in hand and see what happens.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Book Review: The Sick Bug

For those of us living in colder climates, the seasonal sneezes, sniffles and flu bugs are all unfortunately still alive and well. As such, it is my pleasure to take this timely opportunity to give props to my friend and fellow children's writer, Susie Bazil, author of the adorable book, The Sick Bug. In this delightful award-winning story, little Tess doesn't feel well. When her Mom says she has ''a bug,'' Tess becomes concerned, believing that she may have an actual insect inside her body. Mom goes on to clarify that Tess's type of bug is a ''sick bug,'' and she gives fun and imaginative descriptions of the creatures, explains how they affect a little one's body, and, most importantly, advises how to get rid of them.

This awesome book is definitely a favorite at our house and a highly recommended read for any family with young children! Susie will be among the children's authors featured at the upcoming Midwest Kids Fest on February 13 & 14th in St. Paul, Minnesota. Stop by the Beavers Pond Press booth where she will be signing and selling books at 20% off. (She'll also be happy to sell you a BugaBees: Friends with Food Allergies book at the same discount!)